Moe Davis is a retired Air Force Colonel, former Chief Prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay, Director of the Air Force Judiciary, law professor, judge, speaker, writer and national security expert for Congress who has appeared on news shows from NBC to CNN, CBS, Fox, MSNBC, NPR and more.
Add to that the honors he has received, including the prestigious Legion of Merit, six Meritorious Service Medals, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Headquarters Air Force Judge Advocate of the Year award, among others.
If that was all he accomplished in his life, Davis would already have a career unmatched by most. And yet, that is not what truly defines him. It is the decisions made and the stands taken in the gut-check moments of his life that make Moe Davis the right candidate to represent North Carolina’s 11th District in Congress.
Born and raised in Shelby, N.C., the son of a man 100 percent disabled by an accident while in the Army preparing to go to World War II, Davis graduated from Appalachian State and N.C. Central School of Law. Shortly after passing the bar exam, his father died of a heart attack. In part to honor his father, Davis decided to join the Air Force, the start of a 25-year career of service in the military.
He nearly sacrificed that career to take a stand for what he believed in.
In 2007, while serving as Chief Prosecutor for Terrorism Trials at Guantanamo Bay, Davis dared to take on the Bush Administration. He refused an order to use evidence obtained through torture because he believed it was immoral and illegal. That decision came at a price; to uphold his principles, Davis had no choice but to resign his position at Guantanamo.
For his stand against torture and the political pressure placed on prosecutors at Guantanamo, the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) honored Davis by including him in, “Those Who Dared: 30 Officials Who Stood Up For Our Country.”
That was not the last time Davis stood up for what he believed was right. In 2009, after retiring from the Air Force, Davis was working as an assistant director and senior specialist in national security for the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress. But when he wrote an opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal that was critical of the Obama Administration’s handling of prosecutions at Guantanamo Bay, Davis was fired.
Davis challenged his dismissal in court, arguing that the First Amendment protected the free speech rights of government employees. Represented by the ACLU, he ultimately won a settlement in his suit. He was honored with the Justice Charles E. Whittaker Award for professional courage and integrity, and was given the Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award.
Why take a stand and risk his career again and again? As Davis said, borrowing from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s familiar theme, “It’s always the right time to do the right thing.”
Davis went on to become a law professor at Howard University and completed his career as a judge with the U.S. Department of Labor before moving to Asheville, where he and his wife Lisa recently built a home. Their daughter Ashley lives in Falls Church, Va.
Back home in North Carolina, Davis is taking a stand once again in his life. He hopes to serve as Congressman in the 11th District and give Western North Carolina a true voice in Washington.
Leadership. Experience. Character.